Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Mnangagwa frowns at COVID-19 joke

By Moses Matenga

President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday frowned at what was meant to be an April Fools’ Day prank which claimed the Zanu PF leader had tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa
President Emmerson Mnangagwa

There were social media reports, apparently meant as a joke for April Fools Day, that went viral yesterday that Mnangagwa had tested positive, forcing the party to issue a statement.

Mnangagwa did not see the funny side of the joke.

“Contrary to fake news being spread by the usual nefarious and faceless characters using fake news sites insinuating the President has been tested positive to COVID-19, it is imperative to inform the public that your President is safe, sound and healthy,” a statement from Zanu PF read in part.

Mnangagwa warned the media against “peddling falsehoods”, especially around the COVID-19 issue.

“As we enter Day 3 of the 21-day lockdown, be advised to stay home and be safe. Media houses must be careful of the messages that they communicate in the name of the April Fools Day, otherwise we distract the nation from the significant strides we are making in this lockdown period,” he was quoted as saying.

Mnangagwa declared a 21-day mandatory lockdown which started on Monday to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

Civic society organisations, however, expressed concern that government was managing information as the number of COVID-19 cases was suspected to be higher given that of the more than 16 000 people who arrived in the country in recent weeks, only 200 had been tested. News Day